Mandel sells GE stock, vote on HB151 (state pensions to divest from Iran investments) is today

From an email from my State Representative, Josh Mandel:

I sold my GE stock. The bill is scheduled for a committee vote today [5/30]. Feel free to ask your friends and family to contact their legislators to urge support of it, just like thousands of Christians and Jews, Democrats and Republicans, have been doing over the past couple months to get it to this point.

Although I’m not comfortable supporting it, given the state pension funds’ concerns, written about numerous times in this blog, I commend Josh for his hard work and unwavering confidence in this course of action. I’m extremely pleased that he’s sold his GE stock (I haven’t verified that, per se, but I’m gonna trust him on this, thanks).

I’ve spoken with him off the record about the Middle East and am certain of his devotion to the State of Israel. I can’t disagree with that, even if I might disagree with the means to preserving something we both love.

If you are someone who believes in the value of divestiture as an act that can influence political and military action, by all means, contact your legislators and voice your opinion.

You can find information from the Legislative Service Commission about HB 151 here.

Here is opposition information from one group.

Here is a Columbus Dispatch news article.

Here is support information.

Here is an article from today’s Dayton Daily News about the controversy and the committee vote, but not Mandel’s sale of the GE stock.

One thought on “Mandel sells GE stock, vote on HB151 (state pensions to divest from Iran investments) is today

  1. Jill, I disagree with the move:- The government in general needs to set rules as to how businesses should conduct themselves consistent with its foreign policy. If the government needs to make dealings with a particular country even more restrictive (and I believe in this case they should), companies obviously have to comply.- Companies need to comply with the law and also the dictates of their conscience (if privately owned) or their best reading of their shareholders’ collective conscience (if publicly owned like GE).- Private sector pension funds’ ONLY fiduciary duty under ERISA is to get the best possible returns for its members consistent with investment safety. It is that way specifically to prevent fund managers from engaging in agenda-driven investing. I’m not sure whether ERISA applies to public pension funds, but their fiduciary duty should be the same. – It’s not that far of a trip from “don’t invest in any company that does biz with Iran” (legally), to “don’t do biz with tobacco, gambling, fast-food, or companies run by people from the other party.” At the extreme, it would lead to total realignment of investments every time the party in control of the statehouse changes and constant sniping about whether “GOP” or “Dem” investments are better performers.Of course I support Israel and would like to see a pro-democracy coup in Iran yesterday.Mandel selling his own stock is a move based on his own conscience, and he deserves applause for that. Mandel is out of bounds thinking that the pension funds should do the same. And if Shannon Jones thinks that the fund managers aren’t weighing risk correctly (a really silly claim unless she has real evidence), she should be calling for their ouster.TomBizzyBlog.com

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